A Chinese petitioner was placed under mandatory quarantine after he was intercepted by authorities in Beijing and taken back to his hometown. He believes that the officials are restricting his freedom in the name of pandemic control.
Chinese petitioners appeal to central authorities for the redress of their grievances, usually by traveling to Beijing’s government offices and filing their complaints.
Wu Youming lost his plot of land in 2008 after local authorities forcibly acquired it to build luxury office buildings, without offering compensation. He is from Wuxue city, in central China’s Hubei Province. He has been petitioning his case since 2009.
He has been detained ten times and has endured torture during detention. On one occasion, he lost several teeth after police beat him at a detention center. He has had difficulty eating since then.
Wu had recently gone to Beijing to appeal his case. In order to hide his itinerary from the authorities, he chose to stay in the city’s Fangshan district, far away from Beijing’s central locations. Unexpectedly, officials from Wuxue were able to locate him quickly. On Jan. 7, Wu was arrested and detained at an unknown location for three hours, before the officials hired triad thugs to take him back to Wuxue.
Wu’s luggage was left behind in Beijing. His belongings were worth more than 5,000 yuan ($772), but the officials and hired thugs did not help him collect his things before Wu was escorted to his hometown.
According to local COVID-19 restrictions in Wuxue, Fangshan district in Beijing is considered a “low-risk” area for the spread of COVID-19. People arriving from the district only need to take a nucleic acid test, and do not have to go through quarantine if they test negative, Wu explained.
However, city and village officials forcibly sent Wu to the Second Hospital of Wuxue, where he has been placed under quarantine with other people who came back from “high-risk” areas in Hebei Province.
During the 14-day quarantine at the hospital, Wu suspected that authorities put poison in his food.
“I had to be very careful and I didn’t eat much. However, when I exercised after the meal, I could smell that my sweat had the strong odor of medicine. I was really scared,” Wu said.
He tried to detox his body by eating garlic and drinking green tea with lemon as much as possible. He thinks this method indeed worked.
But Wu did not confront authorities about it. “I didn’t dare to question them. If they knew that I figured this out, they would find other ways to harm my life. They just want to take my life, so that they don’t have to pay any compensation [for the land I lost],” Wu said.
Wu was later taken to a second hospital in Wuxue. He was very wary when the officials urged Wu to eat more. He was then taken to his home, where he was told to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The Chinese-language Epoch Times spoke with Wu on Feb. 2. It was the 6th day of his self-quarantine.
Wu believes the mandatory quarantine is an excuse the officials used to restrict his freedom.
“I cannot go out at all, as I am under surveillance. Even if I need to go to a doctor, they will not give me permission. I was told that I would be locked up in a detention center, and then sentenced to prison, if I try to escape,” he said.
Wu said he is concerned about his personal safety. “You cannot imagine how evil they are. Now my best hope is to stay alive. I will not seek compensation for my financial and property losses any more,” he said. “China’s public security and judicial system have control of all the social resources… I am very worried.”
Yi Ru contributed to this report.